Chris Craig's Blog

Still Missing Bele Chere? Here Are 5 Other Awesome Summer Events in Asheville & Beyond

Street festivals, bluegrass music, cold local brews—summer in Asheville is like a dream. And to the natives and visitors still missing the beloved Bele Chere don’t worry! There is plenty more to do in our eclectic town come summer that may just be even more fun than the iconic festival of the past.

Check out our top 5 summer events to put on your calendar now.

Downtown After Five

On the 3rd Friday of every month, May through September, Downtown After Five takes over for a few sweet hours of the summer evening. This annual series brings music talents from near and far and attracts a mix of locals and tourists alike to Lexington Avenue in the heart of downtown Asheville.

You can enjoy the music for free, but be sure to bring a little cash for the delicious food truck fare, local beer vendors, and any merchandise you might want to take home with you.

Check out the lineup for this year here.

Shindig on the Green: Saturdays at 7

The perfect summer evening for many in Western North Carolina involves spreading out on a plush quilt, taking in the sights, sounds and smells, and maybe even doing a little clogging—with Appalachian-inspired bluegrass in the background. You can get all of this and more at Shindig on the Green.

The shindig starts up around 7:00 PM every Saturday of the month from July to September in Pack Square Park’s Roger McGuire Green. This year marks the 51st year of this gathering, and it’s a can’t-miss for a free show and good company. You might even see some local bluegrass legends!

The Big Crafty: July 16th

If you are in the market for some locally made crafts from seriously talented artists, The Big Crafty is a must! Get ready, because on Sunday, July 16th, downtown Asheville will be sprawling with Western North Carolina’s finest artists and craftspeople.

Expect paintings, birdhouses, homewares, prints, ceramics, and much more–what could be better than scoring a truly one-of-a-kind, handmade item and getting to know the artist and story behind it? While you’re there, indulge in some goodies from Short Street Cakes and the Hop. Both local favorites will be there serving up cupcakes and ice cream. How sweet is that?

LEAF Downtown Asheville: August 4th-5th

Most locals know all about this one-of-a-kind festival that takes place in the fall and spring in Black Mountain and many make it a biannual ritual. Lucky for us, LEAF recently added to their yearly mix of fun by offering a free event each August in downtown Asheville.

This mini-festival on August 4th and 5th will have music, featuring legendary funk band The Family Stone (yes, as in “Sly and…”), dancing, food, over 90 vendors and much more. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t had a chance in years past.

Asheville Wine & Food Festival : August 18th-19th

The South is known for it’s food culture, and the number of outstanding Asheville eateries can is proof enough for us that this reputation is legit. Every year in August, you can sample the best of them, as some of the most talented chefs, bakers, and wine and spirit purveyors in our town gather for two days of indulgence at Asheville Wine & Food Festival.

This year’s fest takes place on August 18th and 19th at Pack Square Park. Tickets are available for the full festival weekend or a la carte events like the Sweet & Savory tasting or one-day Grand Tastings.

This is just a taste of what Asheville has to offer in the summer. Looking for more? Here is one more great list, courtesy of Romantic Asheville.

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